Tuesday 26 September 2017

'They are the ones with the problem' - Harry Arter reflects on the Twitter abuse over his stillborn daughter

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Harry Arter
Harry Arter
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ireland midfielder Harry Arter has told Independent.ie that he stepped away from using Twitter after a series of incidents that saw him receive vile abuse about the death of his stillborn daughter Renee.

Reports that Arter was wavering in his commitment to playing international football for Ireland last year saw Irish soccer fans fire nasty messages in the direction of the Bournemouth star, while a semi-professional footballer in England was investigated by police after he posted sick messages to Arter’s Twitter account.

Now he has told Independent.ie that he prefers to use his private Instagram account to interact on social media.

“I just look at it and think that if someone needs to be that negative about someone else who they have never met, then they are the one with the problem,” he told us.

“I hope that whoever is so vile and abusive to people on Twitter get some guidance in their life and realise they don’t have to be like that.

“When people are in a good head-space and see that kind of abuse, it is easy to ignore it, but those sending the messages are clearly the ones with the problem.

“If a player is abused by someone on Twitter, just ignore it. I have found that using Instagram on a private account is a much better way to interact with people.”

Arter also offered up his thoughts on the incident involving semi-professional player Alfie Barker, who was sacked by his club after he sent these message to goad Arter after Arsenal came from behind to snatch a draw at Bournemouth last January.

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A few months on and Arter offers up these thoughts on an incident that saw Barker condemned in what became a major media storm: “When I saw the things he wrote, initially I was angry of course.

“Then a few days after I thought about his life, the upbringing he had and the way he was speaking, it clearly wasn’t a great one. Hopefully he learns from that experience.

“Initially, when I saw people abusing him, I thought he deserved it, but then I felt that kind of abuse isn’t going to do that boy any good.

“Hopefully his parents realise he needs some help growing up and they will give him that guidance. You want something good to come out of negativity if at all possible.”

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